Will the Quad Give Way to the Quint?

BAY OF BENGAL (July 17, 2017) Ships from the Indian Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the U.S. Navy sail in formation, July 17, 2017, in the Bay of Bengal as part of Exercise Malabar 2017. Malabar 2017 is the latest in a continuing series of exercises between the Indian Navy, JMSDF and U.S. Navy that has grown in scope and complexity over the years to address the variety of shared threats to maritime security in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cole Schroeder), cc Flickr ermaleksandr, modified, https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

If the ties binding the Quad together are a shared fear of China’s growing power in the region, then there’s no reason to believe it won’t become the Quint some day.

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Burkina Faso’s Elections to Proceed, Votes or No Votes

Émilie Iob (VOA) cc, modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polling_station,_Ouagadougou,_29_Nov_2015.jpg

Changes to the electoral code align with broad democratic backsliding in the region.

Backgrounder: Joe Biden on China

NAVAL AIR STATION, North Island (May 14, 2009) Vice President Joe Biden addresses the crew of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). The Vice President and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, visited Ronald Reagan during a familiarization tour of naval facilities in the San Diego area. Ronald Reagan is preparing for its upcoming deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean later this spring. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Briana C. Brotzman/Released), modified, US Navy, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_090514-N-2344B-204_Vice_President_Joe_Biden_addresses_the_crew_of_the_Nimitz-class_aircraft_carrier_USS_Ronald_Reagan_(CVN_76).jpg

Examining the presidential candidate’s record on China for clues on the possible future of US-China relations.

Airport Attack Reflects Growing Instability in Iraqi Kurdistan

cc Flickr Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, modified, https://www.flickr.com/photos/thejointstaff/26551826206/in/photolist-9ug7ug-9vdZCp-VXayX-NHbcFM-2aTwrG-6SVLSx-LS62E7-48r7Kv-2dZhxYR-3j718n-5UrJ2s-2gUZwG-4pHL8N-58qB7V-jYZVdx-2hJ16E5-5pSBGD-9AssyP-yEHNNK-qMFdtC-qXkc6X-qMMbxF-pE3qBz-Gsi3T1-qpCyvW-r3Wper-qNw71E-4zgbka-pDVVES-aqmxVQ-p914LV-qaRtyn-apVy4Y-oTroBu-5pSnYD-L273Em-qgZcYZ-2hHWqHu-75RMCV-rR9rHz-oUMcnu-G5tka5-9u4EsC-2hzsSZS-otJH3x-2hzt9uu-apVtff-wvqPHU-awXUgR-nQAvbz

A recent missile attack on Erbil airport in Iraqi Kurdistan portends growing instability in what has generally been a relatively peaceful region of Iraq.

UN Arms Embargo on Iran Lifted

cc Hossein Velayati. modified, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fateh-110_Missile_by_YPA.IR_02.jpg

Tehran is now free to engage in global arms markets. But is anyone buying?

COVID-19 Pushes Laos Further into China’s Economic Orbit

cc Flickr Christian Haugen, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Already heavily indebted to Beijing over Belt and Road infrastructure projects, the economic hit from COVID-19 has pushed Laos further into China’s sphere of influence.

Russia Relations under a Biden Presidency

cc Flickr Gage Skidmore, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A Biden win in November does not bode well for US-Russia relations.

COVID-19: Impediment or Opportunity for Authoritarian Leaders?

cc Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil, modified, https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:Jair_Bolsonaro_discute_viol%C3%AAncia_contra_mulheres.jpg

Exploring the motivations behind various authoritarian responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Singapore Charts a Middle Path Amid Worsening US-China Ties

cc Flickr Pasi Mämmelä, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Singapore has always followed the middle path in its US and China relations, but with the advent of a new Cold War-esque bipolarity, that path is rapidly narrowing.

Invisible Warfare: NATO and the Geopolitical Storm on the Market Economy Horizon

cc Flickr Chairman of the Joint Chief, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

NATO states face a multitude of threats that transcend the military realm, and its high time that the Alliance’s planners took notice.

The Rise, Dominance, and Decline of Thailand’s Monarchy

The protests on 18 July 2020 in a large demonstration organized under the Free Youth umbrella (Thai: เยาวชนปลดแอก; RTGS: yaowachon plot aek) at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok., cc Supanut Arunoprayote. , modified, https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Protest_in_2020_Democracy_Monument_(II).jpg

To understand the demands of student protesters in Thailand, one must first understand the royalist-military compact that has dominated the country’s politics for decades.

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